“I want to run away,” I lamented to my friend over the phone one day. I was overwhelmed with all the demands other people were placing on my time. “Someplace where no one can follow me and no one will ask me for anything!”
It had been one of those days.
The days where you’d be a millionaire if you had a nickel for every time someone said, “Mom?”
The days where you just don’t want to answer the phone anymore because you just know it’s going to be yet another person asking you for something else.
Stick a fork in me. I was done.
And yet, no one was going to rescue me from what felt like near-constant harassment and spirit me away to some tropical paradise.
I was going to have to be my own white knight and take charge of my own schedule. I needed - somehow - to create some white space in each day.
Some space to breathe.
Some space to be.
I needed to find a good balance between my commitments and obligations to other people (including my children) and my own priorities.
Since running away wasn’t an option, I had to figure out what to say “yes” to, what to say “no” to, and how to say “no” politely yet firmly.
Some of the stuff was obvious and easy.
We don’t have thousands of extra dollars lying around, so no, we weren’t going to buy a horse and spend mornings at the barn. (Sorry, Jillian).
The baby years have actually been my least favorite stage in parenting, so no, I wasn’t going to volunteer in the nursery at church.
Park day is important to my youngest, so yes, I would make a concerted effort to get her to the park each week.
My 16 year old and her friend got a lot out of the co-op we did together, studying government last school year, so yes, I will spend my time and energy prepping to do another co-op together this year.
Those are all no-brainers. Easy decisions.
But what about the stuff that’s not?
What about the stuff that doesn’t immediately attract or repel us? That we can see both the pros and cons of doing?
How do we make decisions about those, and guard our time effectively?
I'm a married, homeschooling mama of three who is passionate about self-directed learning.
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Before you buy this booklet, you need to know that I am an unabashed proponent of self-directed learning and that will be reflected in everything I share about my own experiences as a homeschooler.
I’m giving this disclaimer so you aren’t surprised by the clear bias I have toward unschooling.
I want you to know, upfront, what you’re getting and what to expect from me. The advice I give and the questions I ask you to ask yourself are all valuable and valid no matter what style of homeschooling you ultimately embrace, though.
About the Author
Becky Ogden has been homeschooling since 2003, and graduated her oldest in the spring of 2017. In her early years of homeschooling, she too struggled with feeling overwhelmed and inept. In trying to do right by her children, Becky found herself embroiled in battle after battle with them over their schoolwork. Until…
Until she found a better way. One that empowered her children to self-direct their own educations. One that respected their autonomy. One based in “right on time” rather than “just in case” learning.
Without many veteran homeschoolers around to serve as mentors, Becky had to muddle through it on her own. She spent hours of time in research and reflection.
In the years since then, helping other homeschoolers find their own way and solve their problems has become a source of great joy for her.
Contact email: email@example.com